Me as Burning Bush singing Tori Amos’ Leather on Saturday night at a club in Tokyo, although I wasn’t actually wearing any leather scents – rather, something cuddlier and tamer – Laura Mercier’s Lumiere D’Ambre, which is an incredibly enveloping amber that I had immersed my whole person in and which one person said smelled ‘intimidating’ but which another begged to know the name of. It’s suddenly got significantly colder here, and I needed WARMTH. Not that there isn’t enough red in this picture already.
Duncan bought me this Italian black narcissus painting for my birthday x
It’s strange. I had decided to sample Winter Spices, DHS Perfume’s sweet, resinous spicefest that was reminding me for some reason of being a fourteen year old tipsy on Chinzano Bianco with my friends back home; one of those delicately delinquent evenings with us eventually plastered on the streets thinking we were cool ( probably the davana oil note here, the tolu, rose jasmine benzoin heart reacting with the pungent pepper and clove notes of the top, all medicinal amber, and if I am right that liqueur had something a bit medical or herbal about it – I used to love it with lemonade )
– when unexpectedly in the post there arrived some samples of the new Chiaroscuro Collection by the same perfumer : shadows and light in two contrasting perfumes based on oud.
Much as I enjoy receiving any packages in the post – though I will admit to still feeling slight fatigue after the frenzy of the last few months – I will also confess to being a bit disappointed when the samples or bottles are based on agarwood. Oud. Schmoudh- I just can’t. I did, about ten years ago when Montale was initially groovy and it felt new to me, but now, my oud receptors are virtually dead. Incinerated. I have just been over-aggressed by them to the point of non-acceptance.
Smoother, more natural smelling oud blends I can tolerate more ( if really pushed); Aoud Noir strikes me as very straight; woody, taut; indeed dark – quite nice, but predictably overshadowed for me by the more powdery, floral soothing oudh scent that is Aoud Blanc. I tend to prefer suede notes over leather – say, in the original Daim Blond pre-reconstruction by Serge Lutens. I love the suede note in Histoires de Parfums’ Tubereuse Capricieuse, and the gorgeously soft tactility of that material is very present here, flushing the floral notes and the oud note with strokable tenderness. The two scents do indeed complement each other, and worn in tandem by a couple, say, as evening perfumes, I can imagine these working quite nicely.
I am craving a new vintage Calandre parfum at the moment, but I do love this one as well
I am currently exploring the perfumed creations of Filippo Sorcinelli: photographer, artist, painter, organist, and perfumer turned self appointed mystic behind the fashionably ascetic brands UNUM, Sauf, and the fog-inspired Nebbia.
I should probably be wearing the latter today, as my brain is still fugged after a wild weekend in Tokyo where I was drenched in his perfumes in a stage performance with Duncan (!), forgetting that I am not actually eighteen, and that such events, especially when they begin at midnight, do take their toll on one’s mental clarity.
Now I am on the bus on my way to work, feeling subdued to say the least- puffy and jaded, and I have no brain cells left to speak of, so I will leave my descriptions of those other Sorcinelli perfumes ( which I really enjoyed ) to another day. Ennui Noir – Black Ennui, or Dark Boredom, or, to give it its full title – ‘The abyss of returning to work after a long and hilarious, stimulating weekend’ is indeed slightly boring, or flat, or at least a little bit depressed : a sawdusty, sweet woody heliotrope patchouli that reminds me a little, in its drydown, of vintage Dior Hypnotic Poison, though you are unlikely to be hypnotized by this, or sent into an erotic frenzy. Rather, you might apply some to your tired, languid wrists; sink deeper into a self-absorbed reverie…..and fantasize, pointlessly, about not going into the office, instead just curling up under your blankets and duvets with a cup of tea, the cat, a hot water bottle – – and your iPhone